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Lesbian Latina Sets Out to Make History and Oust Anti-LGBT Texas Gov.

Lupe Valdez, former sheriff of Dallas County, is the first openly gay and Latina to win a major party nomination for governor in Texas.

REUTERS

A new sheriff may soon be in town in Texas, and she's already making history.


Former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez narrowly defeated her opponent in the primary race for Texas governor Tuesday night. Her nomination alone is an achievement; Valdez is the first openly gay and Latina to win a major party nomination for governor in the state.

The state's current governor, Republican Greg Abbott, is an anti-LGBT conservative. He opposes gay marriage.

Last year Abbott signed a bill that would allow adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBT potential parents. House Bill 3859 gave faith-based adoption agencies the right to turn people away "under circumstances that conflict with the provider's sincerely held religious beliefs."

Valdez wants to bring Texas to the present.

"Tonight is a victory for all of us who are fighting for a stronger and fairer Texas. A tolerant and diverse Texas," she said when she accepted her nomination. “A Texas where the everyday person has a voice and a fair shot — just as I had."

Valdez, a former United States Army captain, acknowledged that she has a long journey ahead of her. But it's nothing she can't handle.

"I am constantly hearing this is an uphill battle. Please — tell me when I didn't have an uphill battle," she said.

"I am getting darn good at uphill battles."

Women — particularly minority women — have been owning their uphill battles in politics. Women also secured Democratic nominations in Kentucky and Georgia, where the first Black woman was nominated to run for governor for a major party.

Currently there are only six female governors across the country (as well as District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser).

And the LGBT community saw another victory in Texas. Gina Ortiz Jones secured the Democratic runoff for one of the state's Congressional districts. She could make history in November too; if she defeats her opponent, Jones will be the first lesbian, Filipina American and Iraq War veteran serving Texas in Congress.

She too has an uphill battle against Will Hurd, her two-term incumbent opponent, who — like Abbott in the race for governor — has a lot of support and money.

The Conversation (1)
Susan C.24 May, 2018
I congratulate and support both women in their political races and in all they do! This country needs a more diverse representation in all things government and more people like them. I only wish that I could vote for them.... and not just because they are women, or LGBT, or even because they are Latino and Filipino - but because their records of service to this country and their communities, the sheer will power and drive to do what is right and to protect and serve is the kind of leadership we need in this country. I - and many others - would prefer this kind of leadership over the stuffy, white, mostly male, pot-bellied, bigoted politicians of the past and feel we should lend all the support we can. Congratulations on their successes thus far. I hope they go all the way to the top

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